Sharif Sehnaoui is a free improvising guitarist. He plays both electric & acoustic guitars, with (or without) extended and prepared techniques, focusing on expanding the intrinsic possibilities of these instruments. He now resides in Beirut, his hometown, after more than a decade in Paris, where he started his career as an improviser in 1998, playing at Instants Chavirés as a member of several orchestras. He has since performed his music worldwide and played in many clubs & festivals such as Moers, Konfrontationen (Nickelsdorf), High Zero (Baltimore), Météo Music Festival (Mulhouse), CTM & Maerzmusik (Berlin), Le Guess Who? (Utrchet), FEST (Tunis), Skanu Mesz (Riga), 100Live (Cairo) or Musikprotokoll (Graz).
In Lebanon, he actively contributed to the emergence of an unprecedented experimental music scene. Along with Mazen Kerbaj he created “Irtijal” (www.irtijal.org) in 2000, a yearly international festival that is the oldest improvised and new music festival in the Arab world. “Irtijal” celebrated its XVth anniversary in 2015.
He also runs two record labels: “Al Maslakh” (www.almaslakh.org) devoted to “publish the un-publishable” on the Lebanese musical scene. And “Annihaya” (www.annihaya.com), focusing on sampling, recycling and the displacement of various aspects of popular culture.
His main groups and projects include the “A” Trio (with Kerbaj & Raed Yassin), “Wormholes” an audio-visual performance with Kerbaj drawing live on a glass table, and Karkhana (www.karkhana-music.com), a Middle-Eastern based super-group combining musicians from Beirut, Cairo & Istanbul, and solo on the acoustic guitar using unique percussive techniques. He also works with dance (Atsushi Takenouchi, Ali Chahrour, Taoufiq Izzediou…), theater (Carlos Chahine, Raeda Taha…) and composes music for film (Ghassan Salhab, Akram Zaatari, Mai Masri…)
Over the years he has collaborated with several musicians including Tony Elieh, Michael Zerang, Paed Conca, Thierry Madiot, Julian Sartorius, Franz Hautzinger, Radwan Moumneh, Tony Buck, Maurice Louca, Eddie Prevost, Jean-François Pauvros, Alan Bishop, Umut Çağlar, Michael Vorfeld or Saadet Turkoz to name but a few.
Solo @ Beirut Art Center (© Tanya Traboulsi)